Reviews: I’m Not Going To Stop Touching It

All Music

No, the title isn’t (at least not entirely) intended as a sexual euphemism, as you might expect from the tongue-in-cheek quartet Crazy Mary. It’s actually a descriptive statement about the contents of the EP — namely digital remixes of songs that previously turned up on the full-length albums Burning Into the Spirit World (“Voices of Freedom”) and, from the preceding year, Knucklehead (the other four). There are few noticeable changes to these versions — an organ or a trumpet is punched up here, a vocal is clarified or de-emphasized there, some electronic glosses are superimposed throughout — but nothing really dramatic. Nevertheless, this is a nice little stopgap for fans, especially since it also represents the valedictory release of bassist George Kerezman, who had passed away the previous spring.-Stanton Swihart

Rock and Metal

A “Psychedelic Indie Garage Band From Brooklyn” is how CRAZY MARY refer to themselves on their official website, www.crazymary.com.

That description pretty much says it best when it comes to describing the varied sounds and styles of CRAZY MARY on the new 5-song remix album, “I’m Not Going To Stop Touching It.”

CRAZY MARY is, collectively, guitarist Charles Kibel, drummer Nick Raisz, vocalist Sophia Jackson, and new bassist Armand Milletari, who replaced founding member George Kerezman (who unfortunately passed away last March).

Formed in 1998, CRAZY MARY have since become cult favorites of a sort on the New York City music scene. The band’s last three studio albums, “Knucklehead” (2002), Burning Into The Spirit World” (2001), and “She Comes In Waves” (1999) have also been favorites at college radio.

Being fond of experimentation, CRAZY MARY also released some wild, psychedelic dub mixes of tracks from “She Comes In Waves” and the band’s first album, “Passion Pit” (1998), on their “Astronaut Dubs” release (2000).

Continuing that tradition, “I’m Not Going To Stop Touching It” contains 5 digitally remixed songs from the last two CRAZY MARY albums — resulting in final mixes that are much more powerful than the originals, plus some weird new experimental effects added in for good measure.

The first track, ‘Voices Of Freedom’ (originally on “Burning Into The Spirit World”), is a short, yet-very-catchy song that works really well with it’s basic structure.

After a listen or two, this one really stuck in my head. Plus, it’s much-improved over the original version with a neat, newfangled Farfisa-like organ sound throughout the remix.

Track #2, ‘When The Shit Hits The Fan’ (originally on “Knucklehead”), is another very catchy song – also much improved over the original version.

With tongue-in-cheek lyrics about murder and revenge (“…he should be skinned alive, bound and tied, poached and fried, drawn and quartered, burned and tortured…”), and horn parts adding in that extra “hook,” this is where I started to think of CRAZY MARY as more of the “fun” type of band that they really are.

Track #3, ‘Invisible’ (also originally on “Knucklehead”), is classic NYC-style garage/punk, with a twist of violin from well-known avant-garde artist Walter Steding that really works well.

The band’s Patti Smith/Lenny Kaye-style, harmonized spoken-and-sung vocals also work great in this song, where the verse is the main focus rather than the chorus.

Track #4, ‘Knucklehead’ (the title track off that album), breaks out with that classic vintage-1966 Farfisa organ sound, and — like ‘When The Shit Hits The Fan’ — is a poke at something much more serious: Despising fellow musical wanna-be’s to a retro-garage beat!

The last song, ‘Land Of Jagged Mountains’ (again, off the “Knucklehead” album), is a heavy dose of psychedelia that features haunting vocals by Sophia Jackson, who sings in sync with a sitar to a simultaneous melody.

Lots of bongos here, plus Walter Steding’s violin work adds a particularly eerie feel to this track. Hallucinogens not advised here, as a “bad trip” may result…

All in all, “I’m Not Going To Stop Touching It” is a very good representation of the overall sound and feel of CRAZY MARY:

A pleasantly ‘fun’ band, and one I’d imagine anyone can dance to without looking stupid.- Michael Bennett

Left Off The Dial

Im Not Going To Stop Touching It is a five-song EP (that clocks in at under sixteen minutes) made up of songs from Crazy Marys last two releases, Knucklehead and Burning Into The Spirit World.  Billed as a collection of digital remixes, songs that were once spare and clean have been covered in effects and echos, but still retain their original core.  Sophia Jacksons vocals get a lot of the remix attention, playing on the Nico influence that was present on Knucklehead.

Overall, these new mixes highlight interesting parts of the original songs more focus on the horns in When The Shit Hits The Fan; more focus on Walter Stedings violin in Land Of Jagged Mountains.  This last track is the most improved there are washes of Middle-Eastern instruments with the violin, and Jacksons vocals sound airy and strong.

Although Im not sure what the point of this release is exactly, it is a fun, quick listen, and the songs do sound thicker and better-produced than the original versions.  Crazy Mary seem like they are adding a bit of a dance feel to their garage-rock sound, and from the sound of this EP, its a welcome addition.-Nick Doyle 11/3/03

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